Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Okra, Tomatoes and Nasty Orange Bugs

Okra is having its heyday in our garden. Every day we pick a couple of handfuls. Except when we skip a day, and then we get this:

Unfortunately, the giant okra is just too tough and fibrous, and the bottom half of these big guys end up in the compost bin.

I love the okra blossoms, that creamy yellow with the velvety burgundy center. You can see that we will continue to get okra for while...look at all those babies.

Okra plants in the garden
about 4 1/2 to 5 feet tall.

That's Spaz , world's most misnamed cat, trying to have a private moment in the shade.

Here are our two first San Marzano tomatoes, a Sicilian paste variety, along with some more reasonably sized okra. When you cut into these tomatoes, there is no juice and jelly like stuff around the seeds, and the walls of the tomato are very thick. They are supposed to be the best for spaghetti sauce, and I hope to get to try that out. Although we only have the one plant, it has 15 or more green tomatoes on it right now, several about to ripen.

San Marzano

The Early Girl bush tomato also has over a dozen tomatoes on it right now, after taking a brief break after it s first blush of prodution, and there are a few green ones on the Black, an heirloom tomato that is sprawling all over the corner of the garden and which I planted from seed. I am really excited; I have never had luck growing tomatoes from seed before.

And here are the nasty bugs that are trying to suck the life out of my tomatoes.

They are the immature, or nymph, form of the stink bug, or a similar variety, called the leaf-footed beetle...or something like that. Since I took this picture on Thursday or Friday, I managed to deal with a few of them by hand (ugh), and the rest morphed into the regular brown stink bugs.